Thirteen months ago, I was gearing up for two occurrences. One much bigger than the other. CBDC’s 5th Annual Boulder Contemporary Dance Festival was going live and in-person for the 1st time since 2019. And, the day after the show, we would depart for our 3rd act – moving to New York City! These were equally time-consuming. If you have ever produced a live performance, you know the work that goes into every single detail. You will almost undoubtedly hit some bumps and curve balls thrown in your direction. One can usually expect the same from moving – whether within your current town or a massive relocation.
The show was beautiful. Filled with some of my favorite Colorado-based dance artists and friends, it was a fitting end to my dance career in Boulder. I was striving to help build the community and felt successful in my efforts.
Just like in theatrical productions, life can sometimes offer hiccups. The next day we packed our home in the mountains and took leave to the east. On our way to the airport, we received notice that our flight had been canceled. Rolling with the punches, as one must sometimes do, we asked our driver to turn around and take us back to Boulder. We proceeded to go to our favorite brunch spot for eggs and mimosas! In just a few short days, we made it to the city.
I am recapping these two events to say that bumps, hiccups, and curve balls will inevitably come our way. There is usually nothing we can do because, more often than not, some situations are out of our control.
This past year has been challenging as I dodged, ducked, and was occasionally clobbered. I applied for jobs and gigs, and the number of rejections felt astronomical. I was defeated. Was that festival in October the final performance of my career? Was my beloved dance company a thing of the past?
Somehow, through tears and heartache, I continued pursuing an artistic life here in NYC. I’ll stop here to say that I realize how dramatic I must sound. But, again, if you are a working artist, you will relate. Being an artist is not just what I do – it is who I am. I am persistent, I’ll give myself that! Finally, about ten months in, that determination paid off.
But now, let’s fast forward to this lovely 65-degree day in New York. I just finished my first cup of coffee and began contemplating the difference a year (and one month) can make. This evening I will show a piece at a festival with a cast of beautiful dance artists. We have been in the studio for the past few weeks, dancing, laughing, and getting to know one another. As we had our final rehearsal a few days ago, we all felt “show ready” and confident that the performance would go well. I stepped out of the studio in the crisp air and sun-kissed sky, and the sheer happiness I felt was overwhelming; I had done it, I thought. I am about to premiere CBDC in NYC, and all feels right in the world! Don’t get me wrong – I am no Pollyanna – I am well aware that life is ever-changing, ever-unknowing, and ever-fleeting. But, at that moment, to feel that happy – well, it was beyond refreshing.
So refreshing that I let my guard down and forgot to be on the lookout for those curve balls and bumps! Uh oh – Duck!! One of my lovely dancers phoned me yesterday to tell me that an injury would prevent them from performing in the show. I had a brief moment of “whaaaaaat??” that soon became a moment of concern for him. I don’t want anyone to be injured and experience pain. His devastation was felt through the phone, and I quickly tried to realize that his pain trumped mine. I wished him a speedy recovery and offered hope and assistance if needed. After we ended our conversation, I was surprised at how quickly I knew we could adapt. Humans are nothing if not resilient – a lesson I’ve learned in my years. It saddens me that he cannot perform, but I have hopes he will bounce back and be in our next show – and yes, I have a “next show!” But I also know this show must go on, and the remaining cast will be stunning! We duck, we dodge, and we try not to get clobbered.
In the end, we discover our strength and endurance. And sometimes, we find a mimosa!